Chapter 2: Contents of the Gītā Summarized

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 2.6

na caitad vidmaḥ kataran no garīyo

yad jayema yadi no jayeyuḥ

yān eva hatvā na jijīviṣāmas

te 'vasthitāḥ pramukhe dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ

SYNONYMS

na — nor; ca — also; etat — this; vidmaḥdo we know; katarat — which; naḥ — for us; garīyaḥ — better; yat — whether; jayema — we may conquer; yadi — if; — or; naḥ — us; jayeyuḥ — they conquer; yān — those who; eva — certainly; hatvā — by killing; na — never; jijīviṣāmaḥ — we would want to live; te — all of them; avasthitāḥare situated; pramukhein the front; dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ — the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.

TRANSLATION

Nor do we know which is better — conquering them or being conquered by them. If we killed the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, we should not care to live. Yet they are now standing before us on the battlefield.

PURPORT

Arjuna did not know whether he should fight and risk unnecessary violence, although fighting is the duty of the kṣatriyas, or whether he should refrain and live by begging. If he did not conquer the enemy, begging would be his only means of subsistence. Nor was there certainty of victory, because either side might emerge victorious. Even if victory awaited them (and their cause was justified), still, if the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra died in battle, it would be very difficult to live in their absence. Under the circumstances, that would be another kind of defeat for them. All these considerations by Arjuna definitely proved that not only was he a great devotee of the Lord but he was also highly enlightened and had complete control over his mind and senses. His desire to live by begging, although he was born in the royal household, is another sign of detachment. He was truly virtuous, as these qualities, combined with his faith in the words of instruction of Śrī Kṛṣṇa (his spiritual master), indicate. It is concluded that Arjuna was quite fit for liberation. Unless the senses are controlled, there is no chance of elevation to the platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no chance of liberation. Arjuna was competent in all these attributes, over and above his enormous attributes in his material relationships.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness